A-Rod and Twitter: A marriage made for divorce?
A recent convert to Twitter, the Yankees third baseman declared that his doctor said he was ready to play. Which persuaded his boss to tell him to "Shut the f*** up."
There are few athletes more likable than Alex Rodriguez.
That natural charm, coupled with 100 percent natural talent, makes adults and little children want to rush to his side and clutch the hem of his pants.
Oh, of course I've had an excess of humor injections in my gluteus maximus.
Still, one gets the feeling that A-Rod would like to come toward the people and show more of his beatific side.
So he recently joined Twitter, with markedly disastrous results.
It took just nine tweets before his own general manager, Brian Cashman, told him to shut the hell up.
I paraphrase. He actually told him to "Shut the f*** up." Yes, publicly.
What had A-Rod done? Well he'd tweeted: "Visit from Dr. Kelly over the weekend, who gave me the best news - the green light to play games again! http://instagram.com/p/bAAhgcmxM3/."
You might imagine that the Yankees would be delighted at this development. In which case, you might not have followed Rodriguez's somewhat limpid progress, interesting medical history and unerring self-regard in recent years.
A painful kink is that Dr. Kelly is not the Yankees doctor, merely A-Rod's own. The Yankees have made no decision about A-Rod playing at all. One suspects they'd prefer it if A-Rod drifted off into a Carl Hiaasen novel, never to be seen again.
Some, therefore, have tried to take this example and extended it to touching counsel for all business employees who tweet.
Marketwatch offered all sorts of fine rational advice, such as "Remember what is confidential company information and who gets to make the announcement."
Then there's: "Analysts, investors and sports fans are always trying to read the tea leaves. Something as innocuous as a tweet about heading for another city could spark speculation about a deal."
"I'm heading for Birmingham, Alabama. I want to be the next Michael Jordan."
Oh, this is all fine and rational. But this is A-Rod. This is someone who, really quite often, came to the big game and underperformed. That is why he is so interesting.
There is surely a pleasure -- and business advantage -- to be gained in letting him use Twitter to offer his innermost thoughts and feelings.
Sometimes, when you're a chief executive and you feel that perhaps one of your employees is surplus to your levels of tolerance, you should encourage him or her to tweet.
You should bathe in how the self-indulgence that Twitter offers will let them hoist themselves by their own canards.
So many times it has been proved that the link between fingers and keyboard is far more active that the one between brain and fingers.
Why, just the other day, Miley Cyrus tweeted some very peculiar threats that seemed to be aimed at her father. They were removed, but not after many people saw them.
I understand that Cashman's instinct was to tell A-Rod to pipe down. I understand that he may feel A-Rod is now his third basement.
But wouldn't it have been more guileful (and fun) if he'd said instead: "I love that A-Rod's on Twitter. He's always been the man of the moment."?